Borodinsky bread is a dark brown sourdough rye bread of Russian origin, traditionally sweetened with molasses and flavored with coriander and caraway seeds.
Borodinsky bread is traditionally made from a mixture of no less that 80% by weight of a whole-grain rye flour
with 15% of a second-grade wheat flour
and 5% of rye or, rarely, barley
malt, leavened by a separately prepared starter culture made like a choux pastry, by diluting the flour by a near-boiling (95-96°C) water
, and adding the yeast
after cooling the mix to 65-67°C, but then mostly inoculated by the previous batches of dough instead of the dry yeast. It is then sweetened and colored with beet sugar molasses
, and flavored with salt
and spices, of which the coriander seed
is required, and caraway
is optional, but still quite popular.
Legend of origin
There is a popular but really unsubstantiated legend that this bread traces its name to Margarita Tuchkova, a widow of Napoleonic Wars general Alexander Tuchkov, who perished at Battle of Borodino. His widow established a convent at a former battlefield, an abbess of which she eventually became, and its nuns had reportedly came up with the bread's recipe to serve at mourning events: thus a dark, solemn color, and with round coriander seeds representing a deadly grapeshot.
There are no sources supporting this legend, and it is highly probable that the name of this bread first appeared after the Great October Revolution (1917), as there is no mention of this name before 1920. In fact, the modern recipe didn't appear in print before 1933, first in internal memos of Moscow baking plant. However, in the literature of breadbaking of the end of 19th century there exist a number of similar recipes, though caraway seeds were usually used instead of coriander.